Virtual reality (VR) faced a lot of detractors in the early days of its resurgence as a consumer technology. While some of those have come around as the hardware has improved it seems Take-Two Interactive’s CEO Strauss Zelnick still isn’t sold on VR or its effect on the videogame industry.
In an earnings call this week Zelnick was highly sceptical of current trends, from the use of the word metaverse continually used by companies like Epic Games and Roblox to cryptocurrencies and immersive tech like VR and augmented reality (AR).
When discussing the metaverse subject and how Take-Two’s properties like Grand Theft Auto Online or Red Dead Online might transition he said: “I’m always allergic to buzzwords. The buzzwords of VR didn’t get this industry too far and AR hasn’t improved matters either,” reports GameBeat. “3D hasn’t done much for us. What moves the dial in our business is amazing creativity, great characters, great stories, great graphics, great gameplay. The ability to enjoy those experiences with other people all around the world. That is what really matters.”
So don’t expect Take-Two Interactive to be actively pursuing VR or AR if the boss has such distaste for the technology, even after all these years. But that’s not to say its subsidiaries won’t. The publisher owns Rockstar Games creator of Grand Theft Auto and L.A. Noire. Back in 2017, the studio – in conjunction with Australian developer Video Games Deluxe – released L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files, a very well-received videogame at the time.
Last year Video Games Deluxe revealed in a job posting that it works “exclusively for Rockstar” and that it was hiring for another VR project which is going to be “a AAA open world title.” Currently, no further details have surfaced regarding the project. Thankfully, Video Games Deluxe and Rockstar don’t share the same opinion as Zelnick so hopefully more info will be released during 2021 for that VR title.
His opinion of AR is also in stark contrast to many major companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google who are heavily investing in the technology. Slightly more understandable from a videogame perspective as AR tends to be seen much more as a tool rather than an entertainment medium. Should Take-Two Interactive decide to delve deeper down the VR rabbit hole, VRFocus will let you know.